Spring cleaning made easy ……

Here we go again…..

I love to post about clean eating just before Spring break. If you’re going to go through the trouble of cleaning your house, why not clean up your gut as well?

Whether you have to prepare a Passover Seder for 30 people or are invited out to someone’s house for Easter dinner, I always think the week before April fools day is a great time for Spring cleaning – your diet.

I decided to repost some of my favorite super foods and staples and provide you with an easy printable shopping list for the holiday, or if you don’t celebrate anything in particular, just for a refresher course on clean eating 101.

So here we go!

As you know, I do not eat any dairy or processed foods, (the one exception I make is Greek Yogurt but make sure it’s non fat and PLAIN flavored. I like both Chobani or Oikos brands, whichever is on sale that week).

Here’s your shopping list and some pointers for the week- happy holidays!:

The simple RULE is to keep your ingredients to ONE ingredient. I call this the ONE diet. you will have a healthy gut,  glowing skin and feel so much more energy!

Greek Yogurt: Benefits include probiotics for a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut as well as rich in calcium for your bones. I also take a probiotic with a minimum of 10 Billion organisms. Keeps the stomach flora working for you and your digestive tract flowing smoothly. (refer to my blog post last week if you want to learn WHY I need to keep my gastric juices flowing.)

Nuts: Terrific source of protein, heart-healthy fats, high fiber, and antioxidants (Almonds and walnuts are best! Stay away from the Planters- its loaded with heart clogging palm oils, chemicals and salt ). I snack on raw cashews and mix walnuts in my salads. But I love to add unsweetened almond butter to my smoothies- creamy and delicious – I have a healthy recipe that’s better than a Dairy Queen blizzard.

Avocados: I not only cut them up and add them into my salads – in lieu of dressing! – but I also have a delicious recipe where I use them as a base for no guilt, healthy chocolate pudding (I’ll list it below)

Eggs: Not just a protein source but also contain 12 vitamins and minerals, including choline, which is good for brain development and memory. Go ahead and eat the yolk but not too many – your omelets should be made with a heavy concentrate of the whites.

Salmon : Rich protein source and loaded with omega-3 fatty acids help protect heart health – not to mention B12, niacin, and selenium, and is an excellent source of B6 and magnesium. I LOVE the skin- after you bake the fish for at least 30 minutes, remove the skin and crisp them separately in the oven at 450 degrees for a few minutes- they taste better than chips and I swear they are better than botox for your skin!

Berries : loaded with antioxidants, phytonutrients, low in calories, and high in water and fiber to help control blood sugar . I freeze them and throw them into smoothies. I also enjoy eating them with greek yogurt, truvia and cinnamon for a guiltless low calorie snack- freeze for a few minutes – better (for you) than ice cream (did she really just say that?)

Sweet potatoes: Almost as good as a-multi vitamin! They contain Vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and potassium and are so filling! Try cutting them up and baking them with olive oil spray or base the baking sheet with a thin layer of cocunut oil and sea salt for sweet potato chips. I also mix cut up cold sweet potato chunks into salad with lunch! (Other dark orange vegetable standouts include pumpkin, carrots, butternut squash, and orange bell peppers.)

Tomatoes: loaded with lycopene which helps protect against cancers ( all the bad ones –not that there’s a good cancer – but to name a few that these fruits help prevent are prostate, lung, colon, esophagus, breast and skin.)

Seaweed: contains up to 10 times more calcium than milk and has a high concentration of natural iodine which helps to stimulate the thyroid gland so that food fuels are used before they can be turned into fatty deposits. (in other words: fights CELLULITE!!!) Kelp, Kombu and Dulse are also delicious in salads and I like to wrap smoked salmon /lox in Nori sheets with cut up cucumber for my own homemade version of sushi roll.

Oatmeal : Every commercial tells us that oatmeal can lower LDL (the bad) cholesterol, and can help reduce the risk of heart disease (its the beta glucan!) but its also very filling. I love to bake with oats or just add unsweetened vanilla almond milk and let sit in the fridge overnight for a creamy ready to eat breakfast in the morning. You can also use that same recipe add a little cinnamon, egg white and make a giant pancake! Seriously amazing!

Spinach or any Leafy Vegetables: rich in calcium, important antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin E, and have been found to reduce macular degeneration

Apples :  a powerful source of antioxidants, including polyphenols, flavonoids, and vitamin C, as well as good source of fiber, and potassium. PS- go to bed with an apple and you won’t crave that ice cream you you have in the freezer which you justify is for the kids.

And last but most definitely not least-

WINE– Seriously, need I list the benefits of wine? I can go on and on about how it reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke , cataracts, colon cancer, brain disease but let’s be honest – it’s because it makes you feel warm and fuzzy and as though there are no problems that cant be resolved (without another glass.) So drink up!

 

Some added spices and roots I use everyday:

Cinnamon –  not just for flavor but has been proven to help maintain blood sugar levels

Turmeric– Curcumin is the main active ingredient and has powerful anti- inflammatory effects and a strong antioxidant

Cayenne Pepper – stimulates the digestive tract and increases flow of enzyme and gastric juices. Can relieve intestinal gas as well as break up mucus to relieve common cold symptoms!

Raw Ginger root- well known to aid indigestion and nausea (remember drinking ginger ale as a kid stuck at home with the stomach flu?) but ginger has oh so much more to its benefits – its an anti inflammatory herb that can be used to help joint problems, arthritis, fevers, headaches, toothaches and stomach cramps.

Apple Cider Vinegar- it’s antibacterial and antifungal so it not only soothes your achy stomach, it lowers blood sugar and relieves a sore throat but also can help with a wart that just wont freeze off!

Reminder of the rules of my ONE diet – which is named so because I believe in eating foods with only ONE ingredient.

Nothing processed, so grocery shopping is easy and quick because you just need to go to the very last aisle of the store and skip the BOGO’s.

Some other simple rules to make your life of clean eating easier:

Rule #1: NO negative talk, NO negative Thinking

Rule #2: POSITIVE Energy is your energy force. You MUST say something encouraging and positive about your body every single day.

Examples:

“I am strong”

“I am healthy”

“I am in control of my life”

“ I didn’t finish the entire bottle last night”

Rule #3: NO WHITES * ** NO SUGARS and NO SODA most importantly: NO Eating after 8:00 PM (Except Fruit)

Rule #4: Exercise @ least 30 minutes straight a day and must include Weight training for at least 20 minutes minimum of 3 times per week. Skip the pink dumbbells ladies- they accomplish nothing other than look nice next to your lulus.

Rule #5: NO skipping meals or counting calories. Eat until you are full. Do not under eat or your body will not metabolize energy sources properly and you will end up slowing down your metabolism rather than speeding it up – which is the goal!

Personally, I eat a minimum of 1800 – 2000 HEALTHFUL NUTRIENT RICH calories daily. (except cheat days -when I double that….. Don’t do that.)

Make wise choices and you wont need to count.

Lesson Learned:

Spring is the best time of year to clean out your clutter – from the stuff in the garage to the stuff in your head. Clean living starts from within. Think it and it will be true.

Quick avocado pudding:

1 avocado

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

2 truvia packets (or agave nectar if you prefer)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp cacao powder

handful goji berries (optional)

½ cup frozen blueberries (optional – some people prefer banana but that just sounds gross)

1 tsp vanilla extract

Blend, freeze for 5 minutes

ENJOY!!!

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